WCC Executive Committee Meeting in Amman

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee met in Amman (Jordan) on 17-23 November 2017 to approve the 2018 plan and budget and prepare for renewal of the WCC strategic plan at the invitation of Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, All Palestine and Jordan. In his welcome address, the Patriarch of Jerusalem underlined that the meeting gathered in “the Middle East at a difficult time for [the] region. The world community is united in the view that a vital, vibrant Christian community is an essential part of the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious landscape of the Middle East. We are indigenous to this region, and indeed the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem is the oldest continuous religious institution here.” Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Doctor Honoris Causa of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem on 6 December 2017 recognizing his contribution to promoting interreligious dialogue between the two monotheistic religions. In his speech, the Ecumenical Patriarch said that he considers “this gesture a tribute paid to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Great Church of Christ, in recognition of its many initiatives, especially on matters related to the protection of the natural environment, to the culture of solidarity and to interfaith dialogue”. Continue reading

Thronal Feast at the Ecumenical Patriarchate

On 30 November 2017, the Ecumenical Patriarchate celebrated its Thronal Feast — the feast of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First Called. According to a long established tradition, the celebration was attended by a delegation from the Church of Rome that came for the occasion, which was composed by His Eminence Kurt Cardinal Koch (President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity), His Excellency Archbishop Brian Russell (Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey), His Grace Bishop Brian Farrell (Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) and Monsignor Andrea Palmieri (Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity). Continue reading

International Conference in Fribourg focused on Synodality and its Implementation

An international conference co-organised by the Faculty of Theology and the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and the Institute of Post-graduate studies in Orthodox Theology of Chambésy (Switzerland) on 16-18 November 2017 on the theme “Synodality and its Implementation – A Theological ‘topos’ for the Church in East and West” focused on the key issue of synodality in the contemporary Orthodox-Catholic bilateral dialogue. Continue reading

17th Plenary Session of the International Joint Commission on Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue

The 17th Plenary of the International Joint Commission on the Theological Dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation and the Orthodox Church was held at Sofia Cultural Center in Helsinki, Finland (7 November – 14 November 2017), hosted by the Lutheran World Federation with generous support of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Sofia Cultural Center.

The meeting was chaired by the two co-presidents, from the Orthodox side by H.E. Metropolitan Prof. Dr. Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate), and from the Lutheran World Federation side by Archbishop (Em.) Dr. Anders Wejryd (Church of Sweden). Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a message to COP-23

The 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference is an international meeting of political leaders and activists to discuss environmental issues. It is being held in Bonn (Germany) from 6–17 November 2017. The conference incorporated the twenty-third Conference of the Parties (COP-23), the thirteenth meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol (CMP13), and the second meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement (CMA2). The purpose of the conference is to discuss and implement plans about combating climate change, especially the Paris Agreement. On that occasion, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent the following message: Continue reading

General Secretary of the Muslim World League visited the WCC

His Eminence Dr Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, general secretary of the Muslim World League visited for te first time the World Council of Churches (WCC) in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 9 November 2017, where he discussed with WCC leaders both the meaning and importance of “just peace.” Both institutions have a common commitment to justice and peace.

In his opening remarks, Al-Issa said: “Peace cannot be achieved without total justice, abstract justice can only lead to false peace.” He added: “Religious freedom is a human and logical necessity, a given if we understand the holy texts correctly.” Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch spoke at the World Policy Conference in Marrakech

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew took part in the tenth edition of the World Policy Conference in Marrakech (Marocco) on 3-5 November 2017. One should note that he is the only world religious leader to have been invited to speak at this important event. The World Policy Conference (WPC), launched by the Institut Français de Relations Internationales (IFRI) at the end of 2007, is the first effort at a systematic assessment of the organisation of world governance that would respond to the realities of the 21st century. It brings together top-level decision-makers, researchers and opinion leaders. Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch at the Second International Conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East”

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Athens from 30 October to 1 November 2017 to participate in the Second International Conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East”, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic at a time when the situation in the Middle East remains volatile. Present were the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Prokopios Pavlopoulos, and the Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras, as well as the Patriarchs Theodoros II of Alexandria and Theophilos III of Jerusalem, the Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens, the Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk representing the Moscow Patriarchate, a high-ranking delegation from the Vatican, and prominent religious leaders from the Muslim and Jewish worlds. Continue reading